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20 Reasons to Appreciate Bats

close up of pallid bat's face
Pallid bats are common in the western US, and they eat ground-dwelling insects.

NPS/Capitol Reef National Park

Take some time everyday to remember how important bats are in our world. To celebrate Bat Week this year, we put together some things we appreciate about bats and narrowed it down to 20.

  1. They are the only mammals that truly fly.

  1. Bats are incredibly diverse: More than 1,300 species of bats live all over the world.

  1. More than 45 species of bats live in national parks.

  1. They’re in danger: White-nose syndrome (WNS) threatens several species of bats.

  1. Bats use echolocation to navigate and catch prey.

  1. Bats help agriculture. Many bats eat many, many insects every night.

  1. Some bats can live up to 35 years!

  1. Bats only have 1-2 pups each year.

  1. Some bats pollinate plants…including agave, which is often used to make tequila.

  1. Bats’ guano supports the complex ecosystems in caves.

  1. Fruit-eating bats spread seeds.

  1. They feed larger animals; hawks, owls, and falcons rely on bats for food.

  1. Bats’ unique wings have inspired some drone designs.

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A red bat backflips to catch a few moths.

  1. They have surprising skills. Some bats catch and eat fish. Some bats can do backflips in mid-flight when catching insects.

  1. Bats are in the order Chiroptera, which means “hand wing.”

  1. Safe places for bats to live and thrive are disappearing.

  1. Changes in seasonal weather patterns make it difficult for bats to survive.

  1. Hibernating bats' roosts are called hibernacula. Cool word!

  1. The pallid bat is immune to scorpions’ stings.

  1. It’s fun to watch them fly, like little aerial acrobats!

Last updated: September 21, 2020